- Obsidian Entertainment’s Xbox exclusive Avowed is set to release in 2024 and will be showcased at Microsoft’s Developer_Direct ’24 on January 18.
- Avowed takes place in the Living Lands, a remote corner of Eora, and the player’s main goal is to investigate a mysterious plague. The success of Avowed could strengthen Obsidian’s reputation, while the failure of a similar game in 2023 demonstrates the risks involved.
- Avowed needs to learn from the mistakes of Immortals of Aveum, a fantasy RPG that bombed in 2023. Immortals of Aveum received middling reviews, had technical issues, lacked a strong story and characters, and released around too many big games. Avowed must avoid these pitfalls to succeed.
Obsidian Entertainment’s Xbox exclusive Avowed has been a long time coming, and may finally be nearing the end of its journey. First announced at the Xbox Games Showcase in July 2020, Avowed is currently slated for 2024, and will receive its first deep dive at Microsoft’s Developer_Direct ‘24 on January 18. Although it was initially pitched as Obsidian’s take on The Elder Scrolls 5: Skyrim, Obsidian realized that the more constrained scope of its The Outer Worlds series would work better, and fans of both are keen to see how the result pans out.
What fans currently know of Avowed paints it as a colorful first-person action-RPG taking place across a series of large open zones. Avowed shares its setting with Pillars of Eternity, taking place in a remote corner of Eora named the Living Lands. The player’s primary motivation is investigating a mysterious plague, though there will be plenty of adventure to go on along the way. If Avowed works out, Obsidian could finally reclaim the reputation it had back in its heyday, but the disastrous launch of a 2023 first-person fantasy RPG demonstrates how things may go if it fails.
Why Avowed’s Presence at 2024’s Xbox Developer Direct is More Important Than Ever
The recently announced Xbox Developer Direct is set to give updates for a range of upcoming projects, and it could be a monumental moment for Avowed.
Immortals of Aveum Bombed Hard And Fast
2023 was not a good year for Electronic Arts’ EA Originals label. This publishing program has mostly stuck to funding indie efforts since 2016, but the average size and notoriety of its games have grown over time. So far, this has peaked with 2023’s Wild Hearts, made by Dynasty Warriors and Toukiden developer Omega Force, and the first-person magic shooter Immortals of Aveum from Ascendant Studios. Both were promising titles and received considerable marketing pushes, but couldn’t keep their momentum up for long after release.
Wild Hearts suffered from major technical issues, especially on the PC, and its post-launch support petered out after a few months. Omega Force was able to safely return to its parent company, Koei Tecmo, but Ascendant Studios was not so lucky. Despite everything seeming to line up for its success, Immortals of Aveum flopped harder than any other AAA single-player game in recent memory, resulting in about 45% of Immortals‘ 100+ developers being laid off a month later. Capping at 751 all-time concurrent players on Steam, Immortals of Aveum was an unmitigated disaster that Avowed can’t afford to replicate.
Avowed Needs To Learn From Immortals of Aveum’s Mistakes
Avowed and Immortals of Aveum have plenty of obvious similarities, including their shared fantasy RPG genre, first-person perspectives, and either Avowed‘s genuine or Immortals‘ simulated gunplay. Both even have some sort of blight spreading across their lands. With that said, Immortals of Aveum was Ascendant Studios’ debut title, so it had a lot riding on the game being a hit and EA making its investment back. Obsidian isn’t in as much danger under Microsoft’s umbrella, but in a time when many large studios are downsizing, Avowed needs to avoid Immortals’ biggest pitfalls regardless.
- Middling critical reviews point to Immortals of Aveum’s gameplay not standing out in its genre.
- Despite being an early Unreal Engine 5.1 game, it struggled to run well on many PCs.
- User reviews typically cited Immortals of Aveum’s weak story and characters.
- The game launched in a packed year, and was right next to Armored Core 6 and Starfield.
Standing out, being polished, and providing a good story are all things fans expect from Avowed, but Immortals of Aveum shows just how hard a game can tank when they aren’t there. Fellow first-party Xbox game Starfield can at least be counted on to not interfere with Avowed, and may have actually generated more desire for Obsidian’s game thanks to its mixed reception. As Immortals of Aveum will likely be the closest big-budget first-person fantasy action-RPG once Avowed is out, the latter needs to make sure that all comparisons between the two end with it on top.
- Xbox Game Studios
- Action RPG